...Thinking of starting a Catering Van Business? Are you already a Catering Van owner and need to boost the performance of your business?
This is the Successful Formula for Starting and Owning A Proper Catering Van Business
"How Much Easier Would It Be if You
Had Personal Access To A Successful Catering Van Business, That
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A Long-Term Profitable Mobile
Operation, For Free?"
Looking For A Business That Provides You With A Great Income, Is Flexible, And Generates Healthy Profits, Then This Could Be The Most Important
Thing You Ever Read…
Are you considering starting your own catering van business? Do you want to know how to do it the Proper Way, producing Proper Profits and Serving Proper Food?
Proper Pasty Company have operated a hugely successful mobile catering business for over 6 years, expanding our fleet every four months to meet the huge demand for our unique products and services. This is one area of our business that has enjoyed year on year growth in turnover and profitability due to the increasing number of businesses that are relocating to remote locations away from the extortionate city centre rental costs.
With the growth of industrial and enterprise zones around the UK we have discovered that many of the businesses that occupy these areas are inadequately served in terms of choice and quality of food. There are a number of catering van operators that have realised this opportunity also but they rarely seem to approach these remote business opportunities with long term business growth in mind.
Each and every one of our catering vans has historically delivered in excess of £100,000 in revenue each year, however 2008 saw record sales and profits, demonstrating a 20% increase across the board and prompting the purchase of our next van. This growth is bucking every trend in the UK retailing industry that we have seen reported so far and we believe that this isn’t happening by accident.
We class ourselves as retailers of high quality food, providing remote business employees with the same quality and choice in food that they would expect if they were based in the city centre, where they would obviously enjoy a broad range of choices daily. Our service is prompt and reliable and best of all it is mobile!
The advantage of owning a catering van business is that you can move it! Opening a shop on any UK high street at the moment is a huge risk in our opinion (and we have many city centre retail locations, so we speak from a position of authority!), with many of the UK’s large retailers either struggling at best or in administration at worst, our long term development focus has changed from static high street outlets to mobile catering networks.
If you were to open a food shop on the high street today, the chances of it surviving year one in a buoyant climate are medium to low. The chances of retail survival now are seriously reduced and that is a great deal of expense and personal exposure that you put at risk, into an asset that is difficult to liquidate.
A catering van business offers a great deal of flexibility and is a far lower risk business model. Experience has proven this to us and continues to do so on a daily basis. Our approach to mobile catering is what we attribute our long term success to and this is why we can confidently add more and more catering vans to our fleet.
What are the costs of owning a Catering Van business?
We work closely together with our banking and leasing partners to take the heavy burden of vehicle and equipment capital investment away from the business. By gearing our vehicles and equipment to medium term leasing arrangements, we are able to spread the capital cost over four years and concentrate on developing our catering business.
Our catering van business model demonstrates clearly that the very best food van will cost you only £80 per week to lease, factoring this into the model means that half of a single days profit will pay for your weekly leasing costs.
What Other Costs are Associated with a Catering Van Business?
In addition to the cost of leasing your vehicle you need to consider many other costs, salaries, food, diesel, insurance etc, these are all included within our business model which you can download at the foot of this page.
What are the Operating Hours?
Owning a catering van business is not easy! The hours are as flexible as you want to make them but we feel that your van must be serving between the hours of 0830 and 1330 minimum. This means that you need to be able to get up early in the morning and prepare your food for the days sales and once you have finished your rounds the clean down process takes place.
To run a profitable catering van business we feel that you need to be prepared to work from 0700 through until 1500, with a clear and consistent routine your business will thrive.
What Prices do I Sell Food At?
This is where many van operations go wrong, they believe that in order to succeed, you have to sell cheap! This is definitely not the case, as with the high street food retailers, if food is consistent and good quality, served from a clean branded van, then people will pay the same price as the high street.
Many catering van owners fall into the trap of competing at the same level as the ‘Fat Wagons’ who sell at almost cost, these businesses come and go and it is your salvation to serve the clients with quality first and foremost, do this and the profit will come!
Do I need a License to operate a catering Van?
All local authorities require that you have a trading license if you are to operate a mobile food van in the public domain. Licences are very easy to obtain and they are served very quickly, contact your local council for more details.
Each license runs for a year and will need to be renewed.
How do I choose the right food products?
This really is one of the key factors to succeeding in the mobile catering business. Customers want something different from week to week, so it is essential that you maintain a fresh and inventive menu.
Whether it is sandwiches, hot dogs or Cornish Pasties, keep the variety moving from week to week. We have found particular success with two very niche product lines which you can read more about in our catering van owners guide below.
How do I choose which customers to serve?
Another key ingredient to success is to choose the customers and businesses who vote for your product with their wallets and purses. We have a slogan in our catering van business “Use Us Or Lose Us” and we mean it, we cannot afford to turn up at a business when only two people buy a sandwich and a canned drink...have the courage to move on and find more worthy custom for your business.
A true sign of a successful catering van business is when the customer chooses you, this is where Proper Pasty Company is with it’s clientele, after serving food to some businesses in a locality, the neighbours soon become intrigued at the queue forming alongside our vans! It isn’t long before you get the call...”Would You Mind Stopping and Serving Us?”...”Gladly” we will always respond.
If you are really serious about starting a catering van business or if you already have a catering van business that is in need of some TLC then we would highly recommend that you download our guide through the link at the foot of this page, this will provide you with the fundamentals fo starting your catering van business. The Complete Guide will be provided upon attendance of the training course.
The Complete Guide clearly details:-
1. The Proper Way! The Secret Methods to Our Success! (perhaps the most valuable section)
2. What the financial model is for a typical catering van business
3. A business plan which you can take to your own leasing / finance company
4. The complete 7:00am to 3:00pm operating instructions.
5. The food costs and suggested profit margins for catering van retailing
6. How to canvas new calls, what to look for, how to dress and what to say!
7. How to use inexpensive marketing tools to keep your van looking professional
8. Food promotion design tips to catch your customers eye.
9. Waste control methods which will save you a small fortune.
10. Optimal Routing to make sure your rounds are as tight as possible.
11. Branding tips
12. Free Design Software to help you design your menus, flyers and promotions.
13. Our “Proper” Promotional Templates to use with the free software.
14. Menu Templates for you to change to your products, your prices and your logo.
15. Flyer Templates for you to change to your products, your prices and your logo.
16. Stock control spreadsheets which automatically calculate your sales and VAT.
17. Call sheets which will allow you to monitor your call efficiency.
18. Purchasing guide...an idiots guide to product sourcing and purchasing.
19. Optimising the Sales Merchandising space on your Catering Van for profit.
20. Scaling your operation to a Million Pound Catering Van operation.
This really is a complete concept for success in the catering van business
In addition to this we are offering a fully funded “Proper Food Retailing Methods to Success” training course to business owners who want to expand and develop their operation. If you are a business owner who feels that they can benefit from a full day of one to one training in our kitchen with our bakers and sandwich production staff and sit alongside one of our drivers en route to serve the city, then complete the application which accompanies the Guide and we can tailor a course in any one or combination of the following disciplines:-
1. Catering Van Business Methodology
In this session we share our complete experiences with you from start to finish. A six year construction and deconstruction of our catering van business model. We have had many pains throughout our six year growth and in this time have learned from some very expensive errors!
We’ll share all of our van sales information with you including the mix of products and margins that we achieve by product line, so that you can see exactly what products you’ll need to focus upon.
You’ll also find out the turning point for us, just when we were deciding to call it a day with catering vans, something key happened and we saw the light! From that day on our vans have grown from £350 per day to £550 per day! That’s over 30% increase just from taking a different approach! Surely that story of an additional £48,000 a year is worth a day of your time.
2. Food Preparation
Fresh food is a key ingredient to the success of your mobile catering business, portion control is another. You have to get this right or your business is costing you money each and every day. Preparation and production of salads, sandwiches and fruit salads are a daily routine and it is vital that you maintain your systems and controls so that this just flows each and every day.
Take a look at our production methods and portion controls to give you a better idea of what production entails. You may wish to consider alternatives but you will make more money doing it the Proper Way.
3. Sandwich Production
This is one of our specialities, so much so that we have our own brand of sandwiches! Proper Deli Co produce a range of tried and tested recipes for the catering vans and our 70 seater city centre delicatessen. Our Proper Deli Co range includes:-
Rare Roast Beef and Horseradish
Roast Chicken Salad
Mature Cheddar Ploughmans
NYC Pastrami and Dill Pickle
Crayfish and Rocket with Sweet Chilli dressing
Prawn Marie Rose
Tuna & Cucumber
Ham & Cheddar
Turkey, Cranberry & Wensleydale
Honey Roast Ham Salad
Chicken & Bacon
LA Turkey Club
...amongst many others
In addition to our sandwich range, we also produce a range of flatbreads, jacket potatoes with various fillings, special dishes and more.
But we don’t want to sell you the sandwiches, we just want to show you the method!
4. Bake Off production, Pasties, Sausage Rolls, Slices and other Hot Stuff!
Our bake off goods are famous in our region, Cornish Pasties, Sausage Rolls and other pastry goods provide a great hot offer for our customers. A variety of sweet and savoury goods are baked off fresh each morning, producing an aroma that we defy anyone to resist. The ovens on our catering van keep these hot throughout the day.
Spending time together with our bakers will allow you to glean a wealth of experience and knowledge in just one quick bake-off session. Producing the countries very best Cornish Pasties has become an art to be mastered by only a select few...watch and learn!
All of our products are award winning and we like to boast about it! Our bakery won the Bakery Industry Award in 2008 and this is something that we like to shout about...the highest accolade in the baking industry...what else would you expect from a Proper Pasty?
5. Proper Food Marketing & Design
By producing your own point of sale or using our templates you can keep the product offer fresh and promote product lines when you receive supplier support. Images sell food! That’s a fact and we ensure that our food images are an appetising sight so that the customer knows exactly what they are going to get...consistently each and every time.
We’ll provide you with a full range of labelling and promotional templates, together with the software that you need to adapt, brand and create freely.
A short training programme will be included within your days training so that you know how to use the software and take control of your marketing.
6. Proper Food Retailing
Our High Street brand has been built upon employing the very best staff, this extends to our catering van business also. This area of your business deserves the very best sales person who has a service manner that you would gladly use within a city centre retail environment...why should it be any different? Service, punctuality and a pleasant manner are vital in your growth. Employ wisely and incentivise fairly.
We will show you how our business works from start to finish. Our MD is frequently requested to tell the Proper story, which spans 10 years, by local agencies and Business Link organisations. This is because it is a great story to hear and Business Link have used John to tell his story to some highly regarded members of our society...including royalty!
The Proper Retailing story will be recalled with a view to guiding you through the pitfalls of retailing and motivating you towards the opportunities of building a recognised and respected brand.
7. Basic Food Hygiene
Depending upon your current skills, experiences and qualifications, we can also provide training and guidance through Basic Food Hygiene and Advanced Food Hygiene.
Utilising our brand new state of the art catering facilities, you will receive hands on training in our kitchen and then move on to the theory in the comfort of our conference facility.
8. The Proper Catering Van Experience!
It is vital that you experience an hour or so together with one of our drivers en route. By accompanying our training driver on his round, you will experience the routines and methods that we operate within first hand. After spending early morning in the bakery and prep. You will assist the driver in merchandising and replenishing his/her van before taking to the streets to serve on your first call, the ‘breakfast run’ is a roller coaster ride and will open your eyes to the potential of a Proper Catering Van business.
The Proper Catering Van experience will last one and a half hours at which point you will be collected and taken back to the Retail Academy for more hands on and theory.
As an extension to this fully funded course we will also provide supplementary and part funded sessions, tailored to suit your requirements, these will include but are not limited to:-
1. Try & Taste
Take a Proper Pasty Company van for a test run in your area before you take the plunge!
Working together with our van manufacturer we will arrange for you to operate a Catering Van in your area. This Try & Taste session will allow you to get a feel for how the business operates before you go ahead and invest.
The Try & Taste session is provided at a cost of £250 per week plus delivery and collection costs.
2. On site training and canvassing on your territory
When you take the plunge and order your catering van, we will join you for a day to assist you in canvassing your area. Our catering van training manager will accompany you on a pre-determined route and show you how to approach customers, with flyers and menus and a polite smile!
Additional training days can be arranged but are priced outside of the supplemented sessions.
3. Haccap and Food Hygiene training (Certificated)
Advanced and Basic Food hygiene certification offers a big tick on the credibility chart as far as customers are concerned, not to mention the local environmental health organisations.
We will provide you with training and certification to the required standard to ensure that you are operating your catering business within the correct guidelines. It is essential in the event of any problems that you are able to demonstrate a record of due diligence.
4. Growing your Catering Van business to a Catering Van Empire
Where do you want to be in 5 years time? We ask this of ourselves and set out our goals accordingly. There is no problem with staying with one or two vans and keeping a tight control over the growth of your business. However, by scaling your catering van business to five or more vans you can make your business run far more efficiently.
This element of training will show you what to consider if you aspire towards a fleet of catering vans. Take a leaf from our book and grow your business in a controlled manner, one step at a time.
5. Building your brand
The power of your brand plays a large part in your growth and aspirations for scale. If your path is to grow to a fleet and incorporate other elements of catering services then your brand should be protected and considered through each and every step of your development.
Thinking forward with your brand strategy is another element of our training, mixing in the right circles and keeping your brands nose clean are paramount to your overall ong term success.
6. Promoting your business online (Free Website)
An online presence is becoming more of a pre-requisite rather than just a necessity. With people turning away from traditional methods of finding services and instead just Googling what they seek, it is imperative that your online presence is serving the search.
Our extended package will include a 5 page website under your own brand, which will be optimised for your local area and brand. By incorporating a blog into your website, we will place you in control of how people perceive your business, shout about your catering vans through the digital network!
7. Corporate Catering for efficiency and profit!
As you grow you will need more staff and expertise. This expertise can be utilised in many different areas for development and brand building. Corporate Catering and buffets are a great bolt on and growth opportunity for your catering van business.
Use your facilities more efficiently by building a corporate catering service, we’ll show you how and why.
If you are serious about investing in a catering van business then this guide is definitely for you, it is packed full of information about financing, setting up, operating and scaling a successful mobile food business.
When coupled together with our Free training sessions, this package really is a leading authority in todays food retailing and mobile market place .